Sundal has been a major tourist destination since the mid 1800s, when people flocked to the area to ascend the Folgefonna icefield. Initially visitors walked up to the glacier and crossed with horses and sleighs, but by 1890 demand was sufficient to build a carriage road up to the plateau. 150 years later, reaching the…
After a brief trip to Petersburg, we are back out in Frederick Sound for more exploration and fishing. Saginaw Bay and Kuiu Island is our destination. The bay is filled with numerous small rocky islets. Halibut fishing has been reported to be good here. Several days are spent in an anchorage known as Halleck Harbor. […]
From the summit of Tysnessata, the complex group of islands we could see along the northwest shore of Stord looked ideal for exploration by boat and tender. We found sheltered anchorage there in the Eldoy Islands, where we stayed for three nights, extensively explored the area by tender and also waiting out a small weather…
Gripnesvagen is a beautiful, nearly land-locked anchorage at the north end of Tysnes with a great view to the islands’s highest point, 2467-ft (752m) Tysnessata. From the east side of Tysnes we cruised through the narrow and scenic channel Lukksund to spend two nights at Gripnesvagen, where we toured the area by tender, hiked up…
We enjoyed the anchorage below Hovlandsnuten so much that we spent a third night there. After climbing Hovlandsnuten and Melderskin, we gave our hiking boots and legs a break on that final day and toured Husnesfjorden by tender. After passing through the scenic waterway Laukhammarsundet south of our anchorage, we crossed to the east side…
The summit of 4678-ft (1426m) Melderskin has a spectacular view east to the Folgefonna Icefield. The vistas west along the way up are impressive too, but the eastward scene is breathtaking, all the more so because it’s hidden from sight until the summit is reached. With an average grade of 26% over a 3-mile (4.8km)…
Hovlandsnuten soars 2,385ft (727m) nearly straight up along the east shore of the island Tysnes. On a beautiful, sunny day, we made a four-hour run from Etnefjorden and anchored directly below the mountain. A quick tender ride brought us ashore and we were at the top within two hours. The view isn’t apparent until the…
After three relaxing nights at Prevost Harbor it was off to Anacortes for two more nights at Cap Sante. The last day of our cruise, September 2, was a bouncy crossing of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and a windy run down Admiralty Inlet & Puget Sound to Eagle Harbor, where our cruise started on July 2.
Our cruise was 63 days long. We anchored 42 nights, tied to mooring balls 4 nights, to a dock 14 nights, and traveled through the night twice (once northbound through BC and the other southbound). We had the anchorage to ourselves 19 times.
Over the cruise, we covered 2527.3 nautical miles (NM) and accumulated 399.7 engine hours. For the purpose of calculating our average speed, I exclude hours in which the engine was idling for extended periods such as when trolling or drifting while sightseeing. We had 11.5 hours of that time. Using that method gives us an average speed of 6.51 knots (2527.3 NM / 388.2 Hr).
Below is a map of the places we visited on our 2020 cruise. If you click on a mark it will name the location and the distance and time needed to get there.
When you chat with anyone about 2020, words like “strange”, “unusual” or “weird” will be part of the conversation. All of those describe our cruise as well. The table below shows our ten trips to SE Alaska. Our 2020 cruise clearly stands out from all the rest.
|Year||Days||Miles Traveled||Engine Hours|
Our transits through Canadian waters were the fastest we had ever done. The northbound journey was 581.3 NM (from last anchorage in WA to the first anchorage in AK) accomplished in 134.1 clock hours and 85.5 engine hours. The southbound trip was 531.6 NM in 126.3 clock hours and 78.6 engine hours.
The trip was short by historical standards, and hard when you look at the miles covered per day. The weather was crummy much of the time (Petersburg had 16.4 inches of rain during the 46 days we were in SEAK while Ketchikan had 17.9 inches). Nevertheless, we are glad we did it and grateful that the Canadian government loosened their non-essential travel regulations to permit the transits that we made.
We are hopeful for 2021 and that it will return more normalcy to our lives.
While we were rounding the world in Dirona, so too was the oil rig Polar Pioneer, including a stop at our home port of Seattle. The rig circumnavigated in 2014-2016, starting in Norway, then to Singapore and on to Alaska for an assignment, then to Seattle and back to Norway via South America. While in…